This is a continuation to Someone Like You – part 31.
A/N: To all EB readers who commented and silently appreciated this ff, thank you very much. I hope you enjoyed reading it in as much I enjoyed writing it.
The Last Chapter
Richard woke up when he felt Maya stirred beside him. She looked angelic with her lips curved in a smile of contentment. His heart was filled with joy and love for the woman he married the previous day. He traced her face with his fingers.
It was four in the morning, the day after they got married at the Madre de Dios chapel of Tagaytay Highlands. Their wedding celebration was like a dream that he reminisced scene by scene. It was an event exactly how he imagined it to be, simple and elegant. The wedding planner whom they have hired did an excellent job of executing all their wishes although they were given barely 4 weeks to arrange everything. It did help though that Richard had a membership at the Tagaytay Highlands where the church rites and reception were held.
He recalled how Maya looked so radiant in her white, off-shoulder lace wedding dress. The beauty and elegance she exuded was further enhanced when she wore his wedding gift to her, a white gold necklace with a 5 carat heart-shaped diamond pendant. Richard could still feel how nervous he felt when he saw her walk down the aisle with Mama Teresita and Cristina Rose. It felt like it was taking her eternity to reach the altar where he was standing beside his parents. He was in barong tagalog and their wedding motif was white and red. Beautiful white and red roses adorned the whole chapel.
When she finally stood in front of him as Mama Teresita gave Maya’s hand to him, he didn’t realize tears started to fall from his eyes the moment his eyes locked with her eyes. He couldn’t control it as he saw Maya trying to collect her own emotions. She actually started crying the moment wedding march began. As they faced the altar together to celebrate their union, everything else was momentous for the two of them.
Maya must have felt that Richard was gazing down at her because she suddenly opened her eyes.
“Ricky, gising ka na? What time is it?” She nuzzled his neck as she moved closer to him.
“Hmm, it’s four in the morning.” He caressed her smooth back after ensuring she was fully covered by the sheets. Both of them are still naked from their lovemaking hours before.
“Hon, do you recall what I said in our wedding vows yesterday.” Richard asked wanting to ensure that Maya remembered everything he said.
“Of course, you said you will love me forever.” It was the most important thing for her.
“Ha? Sa haba ng sinabi ko ‘yung lang ang naalala mo?” Richard chuckled. They prepared their wedding vows separately and never revealed anything about until their actual wedding day. And with all the excitement during the wedding day itself, it would be hard to remember word for word what each one said.
Maya just nodded and buried her face in his chest. Her hand started caressing his thigh. She gave him a kiss and a tiny bite that made him ticklish so he cupped her chin with his hand to stop her.
“Heyyy, don’t start again Mrs. Lim. You might want to rest otherwise you may not be able to walk later.” He laughed as Maya pinched him on his side. They have spent long hours making love before sleep finally caught up with them three hours ago.
“Anyway, I wanted you to remember that I meant everything I said. At para maalala mo Mrs. Lim, I’m repeating them word for word.” He had her face in between his hands and repeated his vows.
“In the presence of God, our family and friends, I promise to love you forever. You are someone that I never knew I needed until you came into my life. I promise to make each day a meaningful for our love to flourish, to protect you, support you, bring you joy and to grow old with you. With all these promises and the unspoken ones, I bind myself to you forever.” He delivered them slowly and lovingly.
Maya’s eyes were teary eyed as Richard finished reciting his vows. His eyes told her all that mattered to her, he meant every word he uttered. She believed him and so it became automatic for her to recite her vows to him too as they continued their loving gaze to each other.
“Richard, you were a dream I never woke up from. I’ve loved you from afar and will love you beyond life itself. I promise to keep our family together, in sickness and in health, for greater and poorer, trials and successes until all our dreams come true. I love you with all my heart and soul.” Then, Maya sealed her words with a passionate kiss that he couldn’t resist.
The kiss reignited their need to express their love for each other. They spent the rest of the dawn in complete surrender to each other.
They got out of their Spa and Lodge room at 9:30 in the morning to have breakfast at the country club. When arrived at the place, their respective families have finished their own breakfast and were just waiting for them. Abby immediately run towards Richard when she saw him.
“Good morning baby” Richard kissed his daughter while the little girl embraced him after picking her up.
“Honey, parang na miss ka na naman n’yang si Abby.” Maya gave a kiss to her Abby as well.
“Abby, did you miss Dad? One more night baby okay? You will go with Lola Tessie and sleep with them tonight. Tomorrow, we will fetch you.” Richard spoke to Abby.
Abby was one of the reasons why they have postponed their honeymoon vacation. Since their wedding was rushed, Abby didn’t have a complete travel papers yet and so they couldn’t go to U.S. The other reason was Maya’s semestral finals were scheduled in two weeks time. So, they’ve decided to delay their vacation by two months. By that time, Abby will also have her papers and so they can bring her along with them.
The Lim and Dela Rosa families left few hours later leaving Richard and Maya to spend another day by themselves.
After dinner, Richard and Maya were at the camp highlands building their bonfire.
“Ricky, bakit naisipan mo naman na ngayon magka-camping” Maya curiously asked her husband.
“Wala. Na-ispire lang ako. May na discover kasi ako earlier this week. I was cleaning up my filing cabinet and taking out folders of old cases that I personally handled and I found something. Don’t you find the night romantic for star gazing?” He was grinning from ear to ear.
“Uyy, ano yun? Sounds interesting to me. Star gazing?hmmm. pwede.” She unfolded a mat near the bonfire and placed a cooler that contained their chilled white wine and some hotdog and marshmallows. Richard minded the bonfire as it began its steady fire.
Moments later, they were seated in front of the fire. Maya’s head was on Richards shoulder as they took alternate sips in their shared wine glass.
“Hon, love you.” Maya turned her face to look at Richard. She cuddled in his arms by placing her legs over his and hugged him.
He kissed her forehead. “Love you too. I’m very happy that we are officially together. I never thought that I’d feel so secure just by being married to you. I regret those two years that we lost, buti na lang two years lang.”
Maya smiled as she asked him. “So, when did you know that you liked me?” She was curious.
“Remember the time we met at Burgos St. Then, I kissed you pero sinampal mo ako. I don’t know what came over me that night. I mistook you for being a hooker. I didn’t know how to act with you at that time. Unfortunately, simula noon, parang wala akong nagawang tama when it came to you. I never dated an office mate, someone much younger, ni hindi ako nanliligaw but with you I broke all my rules.”
“Ha, niligawan mo ba ako?” She wondered when did he ever court her.
He laughed. “Yes, I did but I didn’t know I was doing it. Nung nagwork ka na sa L.O.E, I wanted to spend all my time with you. Kaya nga isinama kita sa Tuguegarao. Hence, we have have Abby. Everything went so fast with you. Then, I had to lose you temporarily to make me realize how much I needed and loved you.”
“Ricky, thank you. Alam mo ang saya-saya ko ngayon.” She kissed him on his cheeks.
“Hmm, muntik mo lang akong palitan.” There was a hint of hurt in his tone as he continued.
“Sorry…. I thought it was over between us but I realized that I still loved you when you came back.” She was teary eyed with the thought that they almost didn’t reconcile.
“Maya, when did you really start feeling something for me? Yung truth?” He wanted a confirmation of a discovery he learned a week ago.
“Hmm, yung truth?” She giggled as she looked down to hide her blush. Richard caught it and tilted her head upwards.
“I think I know when it started but I want to get it straight from you.” He played with her chin as she kept on smiling.
“Alright, crush kita since I did my OJT sa company mo.” She declared and she saw a triumphant look in his face.
“I knew it.” Then from his back, he took out a white envelope. “So, you sent me this card, right?”
Maya opened the envelope and the moment she saw what’s inside, she exclaimed in embarrassment. “Ayyy, nasa iyo pa ‘to!” Her red colored face was very obvious even with just light coming from the firewood in front of them.
“Yes. Somehow, I inserted it in one of the folders I had seven years ago. I remembered it lang when I accidently saw the draft of your vow last week. The message was quite similar to this card.” Richard brushed his hand on her hair. “So, you’ve admired from afar, how about a closer encounter? Is this close enough, honey?” He flashed his lopsided smile while his hands roamed inside her blouse, touching her smooth skin.
“Ricky naman eh..” She giggled some more. “Yes, more than enough. At nakabawi ka na sa akin. Ikaw puro iyak talaga ang ibinigay mo sa akin noon. I remember seeing you with a girl named Hershey that week din. Crush na crush pa naman kita to the point that I sent you that card. Ang dating mo sa akin at that time ay parang star na ang layo-layo.” She sighed recalling those days.
Richard laughed as he felt giddy with her revelation. “Maya, I apologize sa lahat-lahat. I didn’t know that time. So now that it is clear, we can move on with our life, right?”
“Yes, Atty. Lim. We can move on with our life. Basta, you keep your promise and we’ll live happily ever after.” She whispered in his ears.
“Yes, Mrs. Lim. I promise to keep my vows. Hindi na yata ako makakahap ng katulad mo.”
Richard and Maya hugged each other as they watched their bonfire turned to embers. With their surroundings getting dark, another fire was building up between them. Much later, they decided to head back to their room at the Spa to finish what they started at the campsite. They needed a secured room where they can fully express their love for each other.